The Boston Celtics will start Aron Baynes in place of Gordon Hayward against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.
— Abby Chin (@tvabby) November 19, 2018
The Celtics have started a highly skilled five throughout the season, with Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Hayward. But while that unit has had brilliant moments, they have struggled at times as well.
Boston’s starting unit on Monday is the starting five they went with for much of last season. Horford is versatile enough to shift to the four with relative ease, while Baynes slots in at center. The offense should have plenty of firepower, while the defense maintains quite a bit of versatility.
This season, Monday’s starting five has only played in five games. It produced a plus/minus of +1.4.
Some speculated Brown might come off the bench after a lackluster start to the season. But Hayward has run the Celtics’ bench unit for lengthy stretches, and Stevens often likes to keep his rotations consistent. Hayward should be able to slot in with the second unit relatively smoothly on Monday.
As Hayward gets healthier and more comfortable, he likely won’t come off the bench. But for a Celtics team still looking to find itself, this solution makes some sense.